God’s Timing and Plans
Genesis 22:15 The angel of the Lord called to Abraham from heaven a second time 16 and said, “I swear by myself, declares the Lord, that because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, 17 I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies, 18 and through your offspring, all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me.”
Many of us know the above story of Abraham. We know that God promised Abraham a great number of descendants. We also know that Abraham did not live long enough to see this happen. For this reason, we can relate, sometimes, to feeling a bit like Abraham. How many times have you put many hours into something only for it to not work out, how many times have you planted seeds only to see the crop never rise from the ground, how many times have you invested in someone’s life only to watch them turn and walk away?
Let me offer you a bit of hope. God’s timing and plans are not based on our human clock and calendar. Dr. William H. Leslie, born in Canada, was a missionary in the Vanga area of the Congo. This particular unreached people group was surrounded by cannibal tribes and so remote that it takes several plans, a few boats, and a long 10+ mile hike to arrive. In 1912, he moved there and spent 17 years investing in the Yansi people, teaching them to read the Bible, understand the impact that Christ can have on their lives.
It came to a halt when Dr. Leslie and the tribal leaders disagreed one day. He was asked to leave and never return. Feeling defeated Dr. Leslie returned home and died a few years later. 84 years after his death a string of tribal churches, many with full choirs, were discovered along the Congo. Dr. Leslie was attributed to the work since he taught them to read the Bible in French. Many of the Yansi continued teaching another after Dr. Leslie’s departure, and, eventually, their church became so large that it required expanding into other locations. Not only were dozens of small churches located along the river, but also a 1,000 seat Cathedral! What an impact!
Many of us struggle with control. We want to see a project finished. If Dr. Leslie would have “finished” his work in Vanga, the other churches may not have sprouted up along the Congo. He needed to allow God to finish the work. He needed to have faith in the Lord knowing that He is Sovereign, and His Will shall reign over all the land.
Abraham lived a long life and waited to see his descendants number the stars. His human eyes never saw it. All we can do is to be faithful in planting those tiny seeds of faith, being Jesus’ Hands and Feet while we are on Earth. We can water the seeds, tend the weeds that sprout and threaten to choke it our seeds, but God must do the real work.
Pray that God gives you peace as you patiently wait to see his promise to you fulfilled.
Lamentations 3:25 The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him.